Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

December 30, 2005

After The 2004 Elections

Filed under: Uncategorized — louisproyect @ 7:58 am

(Swans – December 19, 2005) Last year radical supporters of John Kerry kept insisting over and over that unless George W. Bush was removed from office, the consequences for Third World peoples would be disastrous. Tariq Ali warned that a Bush victory would be a mandate for stepped up economic penetration of the South and military intervention against any nation impudent enough to resist such penetration. Urging a vote for Ralph Nader was tantamount to scabbing against struggles for national liberation.

Domestically, refusing to vote for Kerry was interpreted as being indifferent to the nation’s elderly who would be forced to fend for themselves as Social Security was abolished in favor of a privatization scheme designed to favor Bush’s Wall Street backers.

As it turned out, these looming threats and others just as dire failed to materialize. Bush has been on the defensive on foreign policy, especially in Latin America. With things going so bad in Iraq, it would be impossible for him to invade Venezuela or Cuba. He simply lacks the political support for such an adventure. On Social Security, his privatization schema was dead in the water not long after it was proposed.

Pundits offering advice to this failed president have urged him to retreat from the neoconservative agenda, the New York Times’s David Brooks most notably. In a December 8 Op Ed column, Brooks wrote:

Conservatives are in power but out of sorts. Fifty years after the founding of the modern right, conservatives hold just about every important government job, yet the conservative agenda has stalled. Federal spending has surged. Social Security reform is dead. And when voters are asked which party they trust on key issues, they decisively reject conservative ideas.

On the economy, Democrats are trusted more, 56 to 34. On education, it’s Democrats 55 to 32. On taxes, Democrats 48 to 38. On health care, Democrats 54 to 29.

For members of a movement that is supposed to be winning the battle of ideas, conservatives are in a mess.

If any other arguments were required against leftist supporters of John Kerry, it has been the utterly abject refusal of the party to take a strong stand against Bush. Kerry, Biden and Hillary Clinton, three of the party’s most powerful leaders, continue to urge that the USA stay the course. They offer all sorts of criticisms about how the war has been conducted, but refuse to back the only sensible course: immediate withdrawal. Despite the limitations of Congressman John Murtha’s proposal, which stops short of immediate and unconditional withdrawal, Kerry made sure to disassociate himself from it. When the question of a timetable for withdrawal came up in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Kerry stated, “You set out a timetable, not for withdrawal, but for success, that allows you to withdraw.” If there is any difference between this formula and George W. Bush’s, it would require somebody trained in Talmudic logic to detect it.

full: http://www.swans.com/library/art11/lproy32.html

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